Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Interrogation for information or pain

How to stop the flow of information.

After his conviction in April 2001, Ressam cooperated with federal authorities in hopes of winning a shorter prison sentence. He became a key source of information on the operation of al-Qaida in Western Europe and North America after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, providing information that led to the prosecution of some of the terrorist organization's top leaders.

But two years later he stopped cooperating. A court-appointed psychiatrist found that he was suffering from a mental breakdown after years in solitary confinement and repeated interrogations. When he was sentenced in December 2008, Ressam recanted everything he'd ever said as a government informant.

and how to interrogate in order to actually get information.

In the days following the failed bombing, a pair of FBI agents flew to Nigeria and persuaded Abdulmutallab's family to help them. When the agents returned to the U.S., Abdulmutallab's family came, too, according to a senior administration official briefed on the case. The family persuaded Abdulmutallab to work with the FBI, believing he would be treated fairly in U.S. courts, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

FBI officials continue to question Abdulmutallab, working in collaboration with CIA and other intelligence authorities, the official said. ... A law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said Abdulmutallab has provided information about his contacts in Yemen, where an al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for the failed attack.

Though Jack Bauer would probably not approve.

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